Monday, February 2, 2009

Retama Park (it's a race track!)

Today I went to Selma to look at a Roadtrek 190. Unfortunately it had a dead battery. The seller asked me to come back in an hour. That's all I needed to go out exploring Selma. Instead of following the freeway I turned west for a couple blocks and then south again. A really big arena caught my eye, and more horse trailers and barns than I could count. Soon it became clear to even me that this was a race track!

There were only a few cars in the parking lot. One turnstile was open where I had to pay $2 to get in! The nice older gentleman who took my money pointed me in the direction of the double doors and said go up the escalator. So up on the second level was the counter to make bets, a snack bar and the entry to the enclosed (read air conditioned!) grandstand. But all the people were down by the track, so back out I went. On one side of the grandstand there is this pre-race area where horses go through some type of check, maybe by a vet?

(Project 365 Day 33)

It was way more fun down by the track. This is looking back up at the enclosed section of the grandstand.

After leaving the "check-up" area, the horses come down an alley, then out on the track where they turn right away from the starting gate. The whole group rides down to about the finish line, then heads back to the starting gate, but not to enter. They ride maybe 100 yards past, then back again, and this time into the gates. The horses didn't look very happy, actually very stressed through this process.

I got to watch three practice races for 2 year old thoroughbreds. The real races are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

It was really fun and exciting. The most interesting thing was how nervous the horses were before the race, but then at the end when milling around to enter the alleyway back to the barns, they were mostly all totally relaxed, happy ears, bright eyes, and chewing. Next time I will bet on a horse and win my fortune to buy an RV!

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots of the horses, especially the last one. So, did you get back to see the RT?


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